Allergy tests are conducted to get information about allergy-causing agents, and it helps your doctor plan better treatment for you. In addition, doctors expose your skin to certain allergy-causing substances during allergy tests.
After this, a healthcare professional observes the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Doctors ask you about your medical history and confirm which substance you eat, touch or breathe is causing specific symptoms of allergy in you. Allergy tests are helpful to diagnose certain conditions of allergy.
These conditions include food allergies, Hay fever, allergic asthma, Ben venom allergy, and Dermatitis. It also includes diagnosis of Penicillin allergy. Tests of skin are usually safe for children and adults of all ages. These tests can be applied to infants too.
Doctors do not recommend skin tests in specific situations. Instead, your doctor may ask you to avoid allergy testing in the following conditions.
If You Ever Had Complicated Allergic Reactions
You may feel sensitive to specific substances. Even small amounts of these substances used in skin tests lead to life-threatening reactions or anaphylaxis. That is the reason doctors avoid the use of such chemicals after knowing your history.
Medications That Can Interfere With The Results Of Tests
Some medications can alter the test results. These medications include heartburn medicines, antidepressants, and antihistamines. Do not discontinue if you are taking these medicines to prepare yourself for a skin test. Discuss it with your doctor to get a better suggestion.
If You Have Some Skin Conditions
Psoriasis can affect different areas of your skin, including your arms and back. These are the testing sites. Other conditions of the skin, like dermatographism, can lead to unreliable results of the test. People who cannot go for a standard skin test can have blood tests.
These tests include E antibody and vitro immunoglobulin tests. If you want to diagnose allergies in some airborne substances, you can go through an allergy skin test like a test for dust mites, pollen, and pet dander.
Skin testing is also helpful in the diagnosis of specific allergies that people get from food. For example, your doctor may suggest additional procedures or tests because food allergies can be more complicated.
Itching, swollen, and some red bumps are the common side effects that can appear after skin testing. You can call the itchy and red bumps wheals. These wheels can be apparent during the procedure of allergy testing. Some people get redness and swelling on the skin after the test.
This swelling can remain for one to two days. The allergy tests of skin can lead to immediate and severe reactions, but this case is rare. Therefore, it is essential to perform allergy testing procedures in the hospital, so one can get equipment instantly in case of emergency.
How Do People Prepare?
The doctor will detail your symptoms, medical history, and way of treatment before recommending you an allergy test. Your answer will provide reliable information to your doctor if allergies are running in your family.
The doctor will get to know if an allergic reaction can induce symptoms in you. He will perform specific physical examinations to get additional cues about your symptoms’ risk factors and causes. For example, give the list of over-the-counter medications to your doctor that you are using.
It is essential to do before going through a skin test. Give detail about your prescriptions to your doctor. Some medications work to suppress the reactions of allergies. These medications prevent your skin from showing a normal response to specific allergies.
Some other medications can enhance the risk of having a severe allergy. For example, doctors may recommend you not take certain medicines for ten days before or after your test. Following are the medications that can alter the results of your tests.
- Omalizumab, a medication for asthma
- Prescription antihistamines like hydroxyzine
- Over the counter antihistamines
- Heartburn medications
- Tricyclic antidepressants
Usually, the procedure of skin testing is done in the hospital or at your doctor’s office. Generally, a nurse is responsible for administering this test. After the test, the doctor interprets some results of the test. The test takes the time of twenty to forty minutes typically.
Some tests can immediately detect the reactions of allergies that appear after a few minutes of exposure to certain allergens. However, other tests can help to see the allergic reactions that are delayed. These reactions can occur after several days.